My, how time flies! It is hard to believe it has been four months since my last update to this section of my web site. The Canonsburg Milling factory now has a bit more life to it.
Of course, I've been making lots of progress. I have built a new building. The big change is that I decided to not finish building the Canonsburg passenger station. I still want to build that structure, but it is just too much for me to do right now. Given what amount of time I have to work on the layout, doing justice to that structure would probably take me 6 months or more. So, instead I found a prototype photo of the back of a set of buildings in or near Canonsburg. I scratch-built one of them. I am getting ready to install it on the layout in the photo below. I glued two blocks of wood to raise the building up a bit. I then glued the building to those blocks. The structure is not glued to the backdrop, because that is supposed to be removable.
I then mixed up several batches of "ground goop" (minus the paint color; couldn't find the paint can), and buried the building's foundation into the ground. To the left of the building is a portion of a small parking lot for the Canonsburg Milling factory employees. After applying the Sculptamold, I put a sheet of styrene on it. The vehicles serve as weight while the material sets.
The next day I painted the ground, and while the paint was still wet, I sprinkled Woodland Scenics blended turf. I also painted the parking lot with Polly Scale's "Concrete", which matches the paint I used for the Canonsburg Milling building's foundation.
On a spur-of-the-moment I decided to apply some weathering powders to the building. After all, it is sitting right next to the tracks.
I thought you might like to see my modeling space. This is it! I have a pull-out shelf built into one of the cabinets. I measures about 24 inches wide by 15 inches deep. I recently learned about the trick to use something white to help with some of the tasks. I cut a piece of a sheet and placed it on the shelf. I am working with Sergent couplers here and that makes it easy to find the tiny parts. The light is also scratch-built using LEDs (see my article).
Tom Henderson of Sidetracks sent me a pair of NJ International crossing gates. I want to fully automate these, but it will be some time before I get around to building the detection circuits and connect that to the mechanism that will work the arms. So, rather than have them sit in a drawer somewhere, I decided to install them on the layout. Neither the LEDs nor the mechanisms are connected. I lightly glued them to the layout using Aleene's Tack Glue, so when it is time to work on them, I can just break them off without any damage. The one in the photo below was placed on the scenery that I just built, so that one was easy.
The other one had to go into scenery that I had done a while back. I decided to clear a small section of the scenery base, and then glue a block of wood in place.
I then drilled a hole in that block of wood, and routed the wires through the hole, and then glued the crossing gate to the block of wood. A bit of paint and some scenery will hide the block. The gates are permanently in their down position, but then again, I do operate my layout frequently!